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The Top 100 Middle East Companies

The top 100 companies listed on Middle East stock exchanges, ranked by market capitalisation.

Companies listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) have increased their domination of the MEED top 100 companies list in 2012. Saudi firms now account for 47 per cent of the combined capitalisation of the region’s 100 largest listed companies.

In 2010, the kingdom represented 30 per cent, while in 2011 the figure was 38 per cent. Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) has long been the region’s largest traded company, with Al-Rajhi Bank & Investment Company usually occupying second place and Saudi Telecom Company not far behind. But of the new entrants this year six are listed on the Tadawul.

The increased dominance of Saudi companies mirrors the kingdom’s status as the new economic powerhouse of the region. While the UAE continues to recover from real estate crash of 2008-09 and other countries have had to contend with political uprisings, Saudi Arabia has been using its oil income to fund a major construction boom. The kingdom has the largest projects market in the Gulf with $740bn-worth of projects planned or underway. Riyadh’s policy using local materials and talent whenever possible means the spending is now filtering down and benefiting the wider economy.

The MEED 100 companies list remains overwhelmingly dominated by the financial sector. In total 44 of the top 100 companies are financial services firms.

The market capitalisation of the banking sector also rose from $258bn in 2011 to $273bn in 2012, as a stock market rally in early 2012 led to a sharp increase in equity valuations. This is despite the majority of financial services firms on the list, 25 out of 44, falling to a lower ranking.

Saudi Arabia’s banks continue to dominate the region’s finance sector, with Al-Rajhi, the biggest bank in the Middle East, along with Samba, Riyadh Bank, Sabb and Banque Saudi Fransi all in the Top 10 banks.

All of the kingdom’s banks feature on the top 100 list, except for the privately held National Commercial Bank. In total the Saudi banks market capitalisation adds up to nearly $97bn, or over a third of all financial services firms. The rest of the GCC’s financial sector firms put together do not significantly exceed Saudi Arabia, at around $133bn in total market capitalisation.

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